There are at least four ways to apply Psalm 73.
1. Stop viewing circumstances as the lens through which one sees divine favor or God’s goodness. Then and now, circumstances (bad things happening to good people and good things happening to bad people) are not reliable. They can only tell “what is” and not “Who is.”
2. Recognize that it takes faith to see God’s goodness when bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people. Philosophical arguments are fine and perhaps to some degree helpful but ultimately, we must come to the point that we can say “God’s presence is my good” (v. 28).
3. Find comfort in God’s presence. Notice how the psalmist does just that in verse 23: “I am always with you.” We often talk about God being with us and that can be true. But it is not simply God is with us but that we are with God.
4. Look to the Cross. The Cross shows us that bad things happen to good people (i.e. Jesus) and evil can appear to triumph. Yet, the Cross also demonstrates that God can still be good and bring about good even, and perhaps, especially, in such circumstances.